But the attempts to reduce the other chiefs to subjection were unsuccessful. An unfortunate collision with the tribes of Ghilzais formed a painful episode in the Afghan war. The Cabul Pass is a long defile, through which the road runs from Cabul to Jelalabad, which it was therefore necessary to keep open for the purpose of safe intercourse between Cabul and British India. The Indian Government thought that the most desirable mode of effecting this object was to pay the Ghilzai chiefs a yearly sum from the Cabul treasury, in order that our troops might not be molested. But retrenchment being determined upon, the money was withheld; the chiefs, therefore, felt that the British had been guilty of a deliberate breach of faith. They were exasperated, assumed a hostile attitude, and cut off all communication with British India. It therefore became necessary to force the Pass, for which purpose Major-General Sir Robert Sale was sent by General Elphinstone from Cabul, with a brigade, of light infantry. On the 12th of October they entered the Pass, near the middle of which the enemy were found posted behind precipitous ridges of the mountains on each side, from which they opened a well-directed fire. General Sale was hit with a ball above the ankle, and compelled to retire and give the command to Colonel Dennie. The Pass was gallantly cleared, but with severe fighting and heavy loss. After this was accomplished, the force had still to fight its way through a difficult country, occupied by an active enemy, for eighteen days. All the commanding points of the hills were held by the Ghilzais, where they were protected by breastworks; and though they had been from time to time outflanked and routed, when the march was resumed and the cumbrous train of baggage filed over the mountains the enemy again appeared from beyond the most distant ridges, renewing the contest with increased numbers and the most savage fury. Since leaving Cabul our troops had been kept constantly on the alert by attacks night and day. Their positions had been secured only by unremitting labour, throwing up entrenchments, and very severe outpost duty. The enemy were eminently skilful at the species of warfare to which their attempts had been confined, and were armed with weapons that enabled them to annoy the invaders from a distance at which they could be reached only by our artillery. The brigade reached Jelalabad on the 12th of November.
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On the very day that this report was being read in the House died one of the accused, James Craggs, Secretary of State. His complaint was smallpox; but the state of mind induced by this exposure is supposed to have rendered the malady fatal. His father, who was Postmaster-General, was so shamefully involved in the same dishonest proceedings, that he took poison.
Napoleon marched triumphantly forwards towards Berlin. In Leipzic he confiscated British merchandise to the value of about three millions sterling. He entered Berlin on the 27th of October. As he traversed the field of Rossbach, where Frederick the Great had annihilated a French army, he ordered his soldiers to destroy the small column that commemorated that event. He took up his residence in the palace of the King of Prussia at Berlin. The wounded and blind Duke of Brunswick entreated of the conqueror that his hereditary State of Brunswick might be left him, but Buonaparte refused in harsh and insulting terms. Moreover, he ordered his troops to march on that territory and town, and the dying duke was compelled to be carried away on a litter by men hired for the purpose, for all his officers and domestics had deserted him. Buonaparte had a particular pleasure in persecuting this unhappy man, because he was brother-in-law to George III. and father-in-law to the heir to the British Crown; but he also wanted his dukedom to add to the kingdom of Westphalia, which he was planning for his brother Jerome. The duke's son requested of Buonaparte leave to lay his body in the tomb of his ancestors, but the ruthless tyrant refused this petition with the same savage bluntness, and the young duke vowed eternal vengeance, and, if he did not quite live to discharge his oath, his black Brunswickers did it at Waterloo. ARREST OF THE RAJAH OF BENARES. (See p. 334.) VIEW OF CATO STREET, LONDON, SHOWING THE STABLE AT WHICH THE CONSPIRATORS WERE CAPTURED. A, LOFT; B, STABLE-DOOR. (From a print published in 1820.)